Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Say It Loud: "I Ride and I'm Proud"

I've made no secret of the fact that I am a strong believer in full fenders (or "wheelbrows") for everyday, non-competitive cycling--so much so that I even produced a PSA. The truth is, while some may scoff, a set of wheelbrows can keep you significantly drier in wet conditions and is far more effective than a clip-on "filth prophylactic." I've also occasionally employed actor Peter Gallagher's lush eyebrows in order to issue advisories when weather conditions calling for wheelbrows are imminent--even though, to my knowledge, Peter Gallagher is not particularly interested in cycling. Well, you can imagine my pleasure when Peter Gallagher, his eyebrows, and cycling finally came together in the season premiere of the Showtime series "Californication" this past Sunday. That's right--Peter Gallagher was riding a bike.

Unfortunately, like a teenager in a crowded house with only one bathroom, my pleasure was short-lived. Not only was Peter Gallagher's bike depressingly bereft of wheelbrows, but Gallagher himself was also dressed like a complete doofus, complete with pointy time trial helmet:

Actually, I'm not sure this is Peter Gallagher at all--it could be a stunt rider. At least one commenter has observed that Cadel Evans looks a bit like Gallagher, so at first I thought maybe it was the newly-rainbowed World Champion:


However, it seemed more likely to me that they'd pick an American rider, so my next guess was George "Bad Luck" Hincapie (click here for the Hincapie theme song):

But while it was tempting to imagine that Hincapie is picking up a little off-season bakshish (which is not to be confused with a little Wednesday hashish) by doing stunt work in Hollywood, it really doesn't look like him, so I ultimately decided that, if this is indeed a stunt rider, then it's Grant Petersen. (I based this decision solely on the rider's upright position.)

If you're unfamiliar with "Californication," it's about a lascivious, hedonistic writer with a heart of gold who's played by David Duchovny. He also drives a beat-up Porsche, which symbolizes his downfall from literary wunderkind to washed-up cad. In any case, Duchovny is in a hurry to get to the next scene, so he starts honking impatiently at Gallagher, or Evans, or Hincapie, or Petersen, or whoever is actually riding the bike:


Predictably, an argument ensues and obscenities are exchanged:

(At this point it's definitely Gallagher, though he might be using stunt eyebrows.)

As the argument escalates, Duchovny exclaims, "Live Strong, asshole," and flicks his cigarette right into Gallagher's face:

Presumably, this causes Gallagher's trademark bushy eyebrows to burst into flames, and he (well, the stunt double) winds up crashing headlong into somebody's flower box:

("Do not put anything in my flower box"--including Peter Gallagher's stunt double.)

Of course, it turns out the dinner party to which Duchovny is headed (unbeknownst to him) is actually at Gallagher's house, which I believe they call either "situational irony" or "hackneyed plotting." Here's Gallagher a little while later in his non-cycling attire, having fortunately survived his journey into the flower box:

If you want to actually watch this for yourself, you can do so for free at Amazon.com, though be aware it is heavily censored--especially the weird "mangina" scene:

Anyway, after watching this scene, I felt torn. (I mean the driver/cyclist encounter scene, not the mangina scene.) On one hand, here is the "mainstream" media once again making cyclists look foolish. On the other hand, it is only a TV show, and Duchovny's character is supposed to be an asshole. Also, while we don't really know Peter Gallagher's character very well yet, I'm sure he's supposed to be the sort of Fredly person who would ride around slowly in a time trial helmet. So really, it's foolish to get offended by art (or at least entertainment). Plus, in real life David Duchovny is actually a triathlete, as you can see from this video which I have edited slightly to conform to the Mavic R-Sys testway:



Even so, one can't help finding these sorts of portrayals somewhat vexing. In a way, Duchovny ridiculing a dorky cyclist when he is actually a dorky cyclist himself is reminiscent of a time when actors had to change their names in order to hide their cultural backgrounds. (Fortunately, those days are well behind us, which is why the host of "The Daily Show," Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, proudly uses his given name.) One wonders what other "celebrities" are also cyclists. Sure, we know about Carson Daly, and Jake Gyllenhaal, and even Conan Vinokourov. But that's just the tip of the Fredberg. The guy who coined the phrase "weird style diktats" recently forwarded me this photo of Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts, and as you can see Schreiber is not only "palping" a set of celebrity-approved aero extensions, but he's also coming in for a textbook sidewalk "schluff:"

That notwithstanding, it pleases me to see two people enjoying themselves on bikes. The fact is, Hollywood's relationship with cycling is an uneasy one--like homosexuality, it seems like something they're reluctant to embrace even though many of them are doing it. Similarly, the relationship between the media and the fixed-gear trend is equally strained, and a reader has informed me that one outlet is boldly announcing its death:

Intrigued, I read the Washington Post article referenced in the post, and it certainly was one of the most refined fixed-gear form articles I've read in quite some time. It contained all the necessary elements. There was the dubious explanation of how a fixed-gear works:


The "fixie bliss" testimonial:
And a reference to the brake debate:


Nothing says "street cred" like "brakeless" and "high school math teacher."

Really, the only way to date a fixed-gear form article is by the bicycle models it references. This one is clearly more current since it references the Globe Roll:

In case you're wondering, "late adopters" is the polite industry term for the people who decided to buy fixed-gears after the "culture" closed, and who are more colloquially referred to as "n00bs." These people are in contrast to "pioneers" like Garrett Chow, who have been riding fixed-gears since waaay back in 2003. In the world of fixed-gear marketing, it's very important to read the subtext. When Chow says, "This is a lifestyle tool," he really means, "This is a lifestyle, tool." Clearly the reporter did not pick up on his inflection. It's a polite way of saying, "All you 'n00bs' suck my product."

The truth is, the simple act of cycling can be a source of tremendous embarrassment and guilt. Between the closeted celebrities and self-conscious "late adopters" it can seem like nobody's comfortable simply getting on a bike. And when cycling is combined with white gentrification, the embarrassment and guilt can be, well, palpable:


Sorry I spat at you this morning - w4m - 29 (Clinton Hill)
Date: 2009-09-29, 9:49PM EDT
Reply To This Post

I'm a white woman who was riding my bike to work this morning, and you were a young Black adolescent boy (either really young or really short). As I rode past you, you suddenly lunged at me and barked really loudly and scared the shit out of me, which was your intention. So I spit at you, out of rage, without thinking, and I rode away. You shouldn't do things like that because they are dangerous and can cause accidents. But I really shouldn't have spit at you, and I'm sorry. I think that automatic, but rather weak glob of saliva that I dropped in your direction was fueled by years of bike commutes full of pedestrians, motorists, and even other cyclists doing and saying really fucked up things to me that I always ignored, but the hostility built up. And years of feeling frustrated and angry and guilty when groups of young Black men in my neighborhood would periodically decide to chase me and threaten me and say sexually disgusting things to me and just generally make me feel unsafe in my gender because of resentment and tension around the fact that I'm a gentrifier. But my spitting at you just adds to whatever it was that made you feel like you should try and scare me, which is not at all what I want to do. You acted obnoxiously, but you did not deserve to be spit at. Not at all. I'm sorry we had that interaction, and I'm sorry we represented to each other what we did, and I hope that if we ever run into each other again, we can just recognize each other as two people who have a lot going on in their lives and who just want to go to where they're going on peace.


Flicking a cigarette at a Fred is bad enough, but spitting on a child is something else entirely. Whether it's bikes or people, sometimes it seems like "gentrifiers" are far too preoccupied with colorway.

129 comments:

Anonymous said...

First!

Anonymous said...

yo!

Astroluc said...

Top3!

Brien said...

oh hai

Anonymous said...

I'm FAT and I'm proud.

=FLS=

Astroluc said...

I was drafting ant the whole time until 3 min before the end ;)

Asterisk said...

Ant1 not first!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

landis in 06 said...

nude

Anonymous said...

topten wag

mikeweb said...

Wiping the spit off - top 10?

landis in 06 said...

Ant1st Rocks!

rezado said...

FLOW-BE

Strayhorn said...

Wow, "upright position" indeed for Mr Brushy Brows Gallagher. I was confused to see a set of dropbars on a bike being ridden by someone in a position more like that of a student sitting at attention in the principal's office.

It was nice to see Liev Schreiber using his helmet to protect his crabon bars. I also like the idea of the full-aero setup on a bike with 25c tires. I mean, you want to go fast, but not that fast.

Then again, I may just be jealous that he's sleeping with Naomi Watts and I'm not.

mikeweb said...

luc, you musta learned that trick watching a certain race on TV last Saturday. ;^)

Bad Lawyer said...

I coulda been a contender, but my aero helmet and bars got in the way.

mikeweb said...

Conan Vinokourov = brilliant.

Seriously, Conan needs to pick up on that and use it as a running gag, like he did before.

Anonymous said...

Mangina? Isn't he coaching the Cleveland Browns now?

Astroluc said...

mikeweb,

indeed indeed.

and Snobbby,

Eliza Dushku is also a cyclist (tri-athelete) and there are some nice pics of her on her bike around the webs...

mander said...

Sliding frictionlessly into the top 20

frilly said...

Oh great, so that perv Duchovny is a triathlete. Perfect.

bk jimmy said...

The first three years I lived in Clinton Hill, every spring young black children would throw a Snapple bottle at me. Only hit me once, though!

EdTheRed said...

I think the top cyclist-bashing tv moment of the past couple of weeks has to be from It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia...
Mac beaning a cyclist with a beer bottle was frictionless entertainment.

No clip on hulu yet, but it should be up in a couple of days.

youaretheengine said...

Mulder. He will always be Mulder.

MLDR SCLY

Paul Bowen said...

Jon Stewart is Jewish? Who knew?

mikeweb said...

We need to agree upon the signs of the fixapocolypse. OK, the JC Penny TV ad has to be one of them. What's next? A fixed gear showing up in an episode of the 'new' 90210? Kevin Federline photographed riding one? The Pistadex covered daily on CNBC with commentary by Prolly?

Anonymous said...

Gentrified!

Anonymous said...

Gentrified!

grog said...

I'm a dirt rider and I'm proud.
File this one under X.

mikeweb said...

Appropriately enough, Gallagher/ Evans/ Hincapie is wearing an Arrogant Bastard Ale jersey in the scene.

Disgruntl Ed. said...

I am nonplussed by that last sentence.

Seanywonton said...

Feeling a little unsafe in me gender today...

Fritz said...

To honor the passing of the Fixie I will observe a moment of flatulence for a period not longer than five seconds... today at 6PM

bk jimmy said...

Says the guy in the Washington Post article with the spraypaint-black fixie w/ matching red grips & brake cable: "I like a bike that still looks like a bike and not an accessory."

"Serial Blogger" said...

Top 25?

Brad said...

The weird style diktat keeps its integrity.

INTG RITY

Isolation Helmet said...

I will not believe that the stunt double was Grant P. until he begins to spec crabon fibre wheels on his lugged-steel bicycles.

Anomalous said...

I dunno, man, that new Riv Roadie has no rack eyelets *and* it has a threadless fork. Hard to say what's next.

sufferist said...

No mention of urine today? Somethings afoot..stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

I think the headtube size on Conan's Serotta rivals the classic "large headtube Seven"

Anonymous said...

One persons perv, is the next persons sex-athlete.

He really is a dick on that show though.

I wonder if they are going to make him ride a bike in upcoming episodes?

Critical Ass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed Stockwell said...

Fity

MINGUStheMECHANIC said...

A gentrifier and offspring driving without a care in their rover oblivious to me riding along side in good ol brooklyn blocks from my crib, toss (out of the drivers window) a half eaten ice cream cone which remarkably lands right on my foot.

After the shock faded, I caught up to the male driver who un-apologeticly hurled very very hurtful insults(including some racial epitaphs) got the full contents of my water bottle(which contained a stick gooey power something) all over his face and any thing else in the vicinity,(car was stopped at light) damn gentrifier never had a chance.
Saw the same range rover parked a few weeks ago with a window smashed, funny shit.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this was the same Black adlolescent boy that spit in my face while I was riding my bicycle a few years ago in central park? If so, you have nothing to feel guilty about white lady cyclist... justice has been done, the sweet desserts of karma have been served in the weak globule of saliva you hurled at this fellow. But next time, please hock up a huge loogie for him. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I hate it when people hurl racial epitaphs at me. I mean, this is what my poor deceased corpse must live with for all time? Sigh....

matt mccluskey said...

PLEASE do a write up on this, AWESOME strap!

I would love to read your take on it.

http://www.backcountryresearch.com/

Anonymous said...

This is like the commuter cyclist version of "Crash" only in Brooklyn, and probably with uglier people.

Reed Enwright said...

SPIT FRET

Gentrificationalist said...

Those awesome strap prices are way too low. If they get serious and charge $32 for the Alpha Niner, say, it might begin to attract some interest from the likes of me.

Anonymous said...

Mingus,

Racial epitaphs? Which cemetary in Brooklyn is gentrifying and has lights?

leroy said...

Well honestly, I thought everyone knew that the proper admonishment to a barking dog was to politely respond "Your mother chases parked cars."

It confuses the bejeebers out of them.

It should work just fine with humans too.

At least, it should be more effective than "Didn't I see a picture of you with a duck in that David Byrne book"?

That's just too wordy.

Although I might have used that line last night with the genteel cyclist weaving up the Manahattan Bridge last night who crossed the entire path to almost put me into the lefthand railing.

Somehow "hold your line" just wouldn't have felt right.

danaceau said...

I think the past tense of "spit" may be "spat," as in: "Oh, what I wouldn't give to be spat at in the face!"

hillbilly said...

the cigarette flick - bad, ice cream toss -bad, lunge at -bad....i got beaned with an egg in prospect park one night, didn't like that...but my mouthful of street splash from a car hitting a puddle/small river was the worst. and yes, i swallowed.

MINGUStheMECHANIC said...

2:17 ok my usage makes no sense, you must be racist.

Astroluc said...

GENT RFYD

g said...

Sufferist,
I think the bodily fluid content of both the post and the comments section should be considered sufficient without urine, no?

Astroluc said...

or

GNTR FIDE
FIED

as you see fit.

mikeweb said...

One time in PP riding on a Sunday afternoon (yeah, I know...) out of no where, a football bounced off of my head tube.

I guess the future starting QB for the Jets showing off for his friends...

Pete H. said...

I sold my fixed Cuevas (we called them 'fists') in the mid-eighties and the reason I had the front fork drilled for a brake was that my chain busted and dropped off while I was going downhill on the west side of Central Park Drive. I rubbed my foot on the rear tire to slow the bike and jumped into a bush.

(I'm still ahead of the curve - I ride a kickbike now.)

Anonymous said...

HAKA LUGI

CommieCanuck said...

...but my mouthful of street splash from a car hitting a puddle/small river was the worst. and yes, i swallowed.

BOOO KAKE

Suzee said...

I will not make fun of those cyclists who have chosen a set of equipment and style parameters that differ from my own!
Even triathletes, recumbenteers, tall bike-jousters, fixie pixies, dentists, beautiful Godzillas and David Byrne! But I will defend my right to 'curl one' in the direction of anyone who does not award me the same consideration.

SNOT SHOT

CommieCanuck said...

I'm not sure what's goofier..the TV guy with the aero helmet sitting straight up, or the dentists around me with the Zipp 808s sitting straight up.

CRAP AERO

Anonymous said...

"which is not to be confused with a little Wednesday hashish"
YAY! a nice long Weednesday post.

Anonymous said...

GENT RIFY

innerlighter said...

Letli Evride

frank said...

I hate to post a link here to my own blog, but I have to wonder how this guy felt about his "flow" as he scraped his big hipster belt buckle along that beautiful Benz:

Fixie Challenge: Matching Aptitude to Confidence

bikesgonewild said...

...good retort when a driver flips ya "the bird" is to simply reply "sir, please...i do not need to know yer IQ...but thank you for sharing"...

...do it w/ exaggerated politeness & it really steams 'em...

marcj said...

BSNYC: here's some new hotness in the fine art of "missed connections" mockery:
linky

Todd said...

I gave a child the finger today after his mom ran a stop sign and started driving in the bike lane. Felt pretty good actually.

bike locks said...

Mr. Eyebrows must have been trying to get a little extra ride in however do to the fact he was put in all of the need for speed gear he must have sat upright to get more resistance and a better work out. Either that or he doesn't know how to ride a bike. Either or.

yogisurf said...

Peter Gallagher has an Arrogant Bastard jersey on. Arrogant Bastard is a great ale made by Stone Brewery in North County San Diego. But to wear the jersey, that’s a sure sign of Freddieness.

yogisurf said...

Ohhhh. Least mines not red.

CommieCanuck said...

I gave a child the finger today after his mom ran a stop sign and started driving in the bike lane. Felt pretty good actually.

Children are assholes.

EdTheRed said...

BTW, wasn't that Californication plot basically cribbed from the Pr0no Gil episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm?

Anonymous said...

dont ride bikes without breaks its not safe

CommieCanuck said...

Is Peter Gallagher related to This guy?.

He was hilarious.

If It's Not Funny Anymore... said...

Houston Fixed Gear.

This shop is funny to me.

Anonymous said...

CC @ 2.46

The Aero helmeted rider always wins the weird style diktat bouquet, even if they're a woman.

rusty trombone said...

i really enjoyed this episode.
i did wonder how all the bike goons would react to that scene. i thought it was hilarious. it didnt need to be there, but was. fuck it.
the last thing you need is some prick in a leotard messing with your day. more bike lanes. get em off the road.

rusty trombone said...

i really enjoyed this episode.
i did wonder how all the bike goons would react to that scene. i thought it was hilarious. it didnt need to be there, but was. fuck it.
the last thing you need is some prick in a leotard messing with your day. more bike lanes. get em off the road.

Anonymous said...

This post marks the nadir of this blog

hillbilly said...

Dennis Hopper has swine flu like symptoms, wonder if he is tweeting about it

Anonymous said...

Gallagher looks way overdressed for the kind of cycling that employs a pointy helmet and the weather that permits top-down driving.

Ahh, the triathlon promotes mediocrity yet again. Plus, I can't see how participation in a tri would allow anyone to keep their integrity.

larry king said...

so, where do you get your teeth whitened?

henry rollins said...

thats not duchovny doing a triathlon, its his stunt double, mike myers.

Jonathan said...

woman on the bike needs to stop analysing her actions at an undergrad level.

RCST BTCH

Anonymous said...

Miley Cyrus rides a bike.

bikesgonewild said...

...the sad thing is, it's almost a prerequisite for us washed up cads to drive beat up porsche's here in californication & i went & spent all my dough on bikes...

Kapitan said...

TRUE
SPIT

You have to really *mean* it.

Mad Mark said...

I spat on 10 - 15 cars this summer. I am not sorry.

PANTS said...

Skidding makes you look cool.

What are you 12 years old???

mr. noob said...

I'm sorry I spit on you, I'm having a bikelife crisis.

Red neckerson said...

That white girl was fucked up like I'd write me a note in the vipor times sayin to the damm redneck who blew a snot rocket at me I know you is upset becos we gots a damm commonist for president and al franken was elected by them dumm Yankee assholes but fuck you anyway you stupid peace of shit
now go and have a fucking good day
you can tells when I'm using Billy bobs iPod becos it fixes my spelling and it posses me off

Anonymous said...

It really is depressing that after being treated like crap this woman feels guilty for spitting at a nasty little monster. I don't read the BikeSnob to be depressed.

rezado said...


testing

Anonymous said...

Now even ESPN has fixie angst:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/thelife/news/story?id=4500821

Warning: Reading this requires total tolerance for a lot of alliteration.

heath said...

wake up dood: even reporting on the fixie "trend" is played out.

Black Dickerson said...

"This is a lifestyle, tool."

superb.

and quite an epitaph.

Meccanico di Veno said...

I can't believe after 120 years, the fixed gear is finally over.

Tour de Trump said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhC0231FRA8

Anonymous said...

I still have my
integrity

Anonymous said...

I hope she got him with a greenie.

Sharkey said...

SAY IT LOUD, I BIKE AND I'M PROUD:

First Fridays are the new last Fridays for taking pride in your bike rights. Own the Manhattan streets with me this Friday, Oct 2nd 7pm Union Square North.

The Critical Mass you have not had in five years!!! Bring your fenders it might be wet.

Anonymous said...

bgw

"...the sad thing is, it's almost a prerequisite for us washed up cads to drive beat up porsche's here in californication & i went & spent all my dough on bikes..."

that and having your crib burnt down in a forest fire.

bikesgonewild said...

...damn, some things intrinsic to certain areas are too scary to joke about...

Anonymous said...

Hipster Hell

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/1400874316.html

Shlepzig said...

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/10/sturmey-archer-three-speed-fixed-gear-hub/

Three speed fixed gear hub. The Fonz can ride this up the ramp when jumping the shark tank.

-Shlep

Richard said...

The show Always Sunny in Philadelphia had a much funnier bike car encounter last Thursday.

Impatient driving leads to honking and expletives. From their car Charlie whips a beer bottle at the cyclist, nailing him in the back of the head. The cyclist is presumably knocked out, crashes, and gets run over by the car. The cyclist comes to, pulls himself off the curb, takes a steel pipe from his bag, and runs toward the stopped car. Seeing the pipe wielding cyclist, the gang speeds away. Once they stop Charlie says something like "Dude you got some mountain bikeage in your axel."

Despite the blatant road rage, the brutal attack, the hit and run, and other terrible driving, it was hilarious. At least the cyclist wasn't as a defenseless.

Apocryphal said...

That Sturmey fixed gear hub is the new Chris King bottom bracket. You can now buy a CK bb, so some bit of vaporware had to take over the position of Mythical Uber Cool bike doodad. I've heard they will be in production soon. Been hearing that, though, since '05 or something.

Like I said...

I AM A LIFESTYLE TOOL!

Reed Enwright said...

3SPD FIX?

Luke said...

Skidding is so totally cool. I often wish that I could emulate commuting on a pogo stick while trying to turn the corner at the bottom of the 59th street bridge.

Anonymous said...

don't forget me! i ride..yack yack yack.

-mork from ork

Yard Man said...

Why would you even want fenders on a wheelborrow, let alone need them? I don't unnerstand.

wishiwasmerckx said...

All that hating on David Duchovny and no love for his wife, the incomparable Tea Leone?

Cycling Training said...

Cycling is a way of being into fitness more than you ever thought of. Every day cycling is something one should stick to. But these days cycling has been utilized just for quick commuting purpose.

People should learn the advantages of cycling.

Anonymous said...

that last line was ****ing brilliant.

imnxcguy said...

BSNYC: Your "curation" comments made me laugh out loud. (not LOL, just Laugh Out Loud). You're the best!

Demogorgo said...

first

Demogorgo said...

first first first

Demogorgo said...

am i first

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